I posted the Official Rules of the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens as a menu item since this is what was given to me at the time of signing my contract.
It is clear these rules were created by one person at the time the garden was transitioning to the city and something was needed. As good a first attempt at creating some kind of structure, these rules are basic given the complexity of the garden.
Many old-time pay-to-garden gardeners are still here operating under their “own” system of gardening rules. The Official Rules as given to those who signed contracts around 2013-2014 had to sign this agreement. Those gardening before 2013 may never have been required to sign these rules, and so, felt it does not apply to them.
To reduce complexity and favoritism, we need to begin from the beginning. The entire Garden Rules need to be re-evaluated and then every gardener needs to re-apply for their plot and sign that they understand the terms laid out in English, Spanish, and other languages necessary for gardeners to take the Official Rules seriously.
The gardens are situated in the city of San Pedro. All gardeners who do not reside in San Pedro should pay more dues for the benefit of gardening in San Pedro.
This should to be implmented because many gardeners from other cities come to San Pedro Gardens and take up multiple plots. They get one for themselves and then one for their wife who never gardens and they end up growing trees instead of gardening, or worst just have an emty plot. This must be addressed.
San Pedro Community Gardens is for the community, we want to know our neighbors in San Pedro along with other city residents who follow the rules to get a garden here.
Gardening in San Pedro All Year Community Gardens is a privilege.
If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
The result is, the biggest offenders of water usage on the NW side has decided to cheat the city of water.
They don’t want others to use it or know about it, so it’s obviously for their gain. They are selling their fruits from their trees. This is the same group of gardeners who are part of the old regime of pay-to-gardeners.
Here is the video of how they do it as of July 31, 2017:
I confronted one of them and he said the water is not for everyone because he paid for the piping and did the work. I’m also assuming he did not bother to ask or inform the city of their water usage plans.
How can you tell who these gardeners are? Just walk and look for the greenest gardens with trees and plants growing beautifully. Or, if the long hose pipes are out, then you can just follow those from the source to the destination gardens.
What more does the city need to remove this gardener and others like him? These 3 gardeners have to be removed and plots revoked because of this. It’s plain stealing to only benefit the 3 of them. Not to mention, this water stealing costs the city of San Pedro money.
About 6 years ago I tried to get a garden in San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. I walked around and found some gardeners. They did not speak English, so I communicated as best as I could with them. I was told the guy would be there on Monday’s and drove a white truck – to look for him. I did, and found him.
He was a complete fraud. He wanted cash up-front and he said there was a 5 year wait to get a garden, and once again did not speak English. I felt uneasy about all of these barriers to entry.
When I refused to pay his extra demands in cash to get my name ahead of the others, he just wrote my name on a broke piece of paper and his Englished seemed to get progessively worst with me and then communication was difficult. It was obvious, there was pay-to-garden policy going on at the time and preferential treatment taking place.
This after this, this went on for 3 more years or so. The city then came in an took over. There were complaints about the garden and the city stepped in.
This was good and bad. The city became more aware of the problems. Nicole Deering, City Services Manager, was listed as the contact person for the city. She was over-whelmed with the issues and how to correct them.
Part of the reason, is there is a “board” and a person named Carlos is responsible for some issues and reporting back to Nicole Deering. This is an unoffical role, and between the 2 of them there is no accountability. About 80% of the gardeners do not like how Carlos advocates for the gardeners. He must be completely removed as he is a remnant of the of regime of pay-to-garden. Not only that, he allows gardeners he has known for many years to break garden rules on the contract we all signed when getting a garden.
Garden meetings are never recorded and only certain people are invited. This must be changed also. All gardeners should be notified and allowed to attend. The decisions affect all gardeners and being able to take part gives gardeners a sense of belonging.
Even though the city is in charge of the gardens now, they must include the gardeners who want to improve the San Pedro Community Gardens. Otherwise, this will not work out as well as it can.
Some gardeners get away with murder (figuratively).
They are some of the biggest offenders of water because of the size of their land and the number of trees they grow.
One that I know of has sugarcane, multiple over-grown avocado trees, guava trees, pomogranate trees, and who knows what other tree inside of his plot.
He also has a big shed and a bbq pit with table and chairs.
All these offenses are against the community garden rules, but for some reason he is not brought into compliance with the rules we all have to follow. The city is aware of this person and ignores him.
The main reason this is unjust and unfair to all the other gardners following the San Pedro Community garden rules is that he gets away with it. Second, is I’m sure with all the fruit and vegetables he is growing that either he is selling them for profit, or letting them fall and rot on the ground. The third, most important one, is he is the biggest user of water and he get first access to the water source first because of his garden location and water pipe location.
What does this mean? Well, he uses a lot of water which costs the city a lot of money. In a time when we are fighting the city of San Pedro to get water back on to our plots, he must be brought into compliance or his plot revoked. Otherwise, he will just continue to cost the city more money. He is just one, there are many other cases like this.
We are all affected by the drought and his offenses along with others have cost 67 gardens to not have water for almost a year. The city has told me the cost for water is “the water costs millions”. Well, I would ask him first to pay you, then turn on the water. As far a I’m concerned “millions” is an outrageous figure as stated by our City Services Manager.
It has now been about 300 days some of us gardeners have not had water. Thanks Nicole Deering and Joe Buscaino of the Harbor District Office.
Currently approximately 67 gardeners do not have equal water distribution. While others are fine and enjoying the Spring, there is another section that has been dead for 9 months.
As of May 1, 2017, there has been no water from approximately August 1, 2016 to today. That is over 9 months.
The San Pedro City Manager Nicole Deering is the one accountable to get this fixed. Many meetings with her have not yielded results yet.
The City does however, require all 67 gardeners to still pay their yearly fee, or face late fees and the possibility of losing their garden.
We pay for the city to provide water. Just image paying for water at home, not getting any from the city, and then having to still pay for something you don’t get. This is unjust by the San Pedro City.
Nicole has mentioned resolving this issue could take as long as 2 years. According to her, we have to pay for the privilege of having a garden and just have to deal with trekking in water until the City can get to it. Many gardeners are older and this is not feasible, and this is well known to the city.
The gardeners do not have a favorable opinion of the city because of the politics they play. They have had numerous calls to get this fixed and nothing seems to get done, or get done fast. Fixing a pipe does not take 9 months even for city government.
The City of San Pedro needs to be more accountable for this water inequality. The longer the solution takes, the more they favor inequality. We are better than that.
This website is dedicated to disseminating information about the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens, located in San Pedro.
The San Pedro gardens have a rich 40-year history. It was started approximately in 1978. Currently, there are about 267 community gardens. Gardeners represent all cities within the Los Angeles area.
Plots are given out based on a lottery based system. The current administrators to the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens are the City of San Pedro. If you would like to apply for a plot, the official city contact is Nicole at the city.
This website has been set up to help create more transparency between all stakeholders involved. There are many problems with the garden, but we remain hopeful the city of San Pedro will get it organized so everybody can enjoy gardening here.